If we were the betting type, we’d guess most of the people reading this are sitting down right now. It’s not a wild stretch of the imagination—most Americans spend around 12 hours per day sitting. Unfortunately, this kind of excessive sedentary behavior has been linked with an increased risk for chronic disease and early death. Some research even suggests sitting that prolonged sitting time is bad for your health regardless of how much you exercise! At Johns Creek Physical Therapy, we love to help people get on their feet. We invite you to find out how a physical therapist can help you improve your health, ergonomics, posture, body mechanics, and activity tolerance so you can feel and perform better—especially in the place you likely spend 40+ hours per week: at work.
5 Ways to Get More Physical Activity During the Workday
1. Drink Water! Simply put, the more water you drink the more you’ll have to get up to use the bathroom. It’s a fail-safe way to get yourself up and moving more frequently. It’ll also keep you well-hydrated! A good guideline is to consume at least one third to one half your body weight in fluid ounces of water per day, but you may need more if you’re also very active or live in a hot climate.
2. Take Your Meetings on the Road Do you need to make a phone call? Need to have a conversation with a co-worker or pass a message to your boss? Skip the email and boardrooms and use these opportunities to get up and walk instead. Movement has even been shown to stimulate more creative problem solving, too—bonus!
3. Get an Adjustable Desk Adjustable sit-to-stand work desk stations are becoming more popular—and more affordable. Plus, some research indicates that having the option to stand at work may help boost alertness, work satisfaction, energy, and productivity. You can also experiment with DIY adjustable desk attachments if you’re not able or permitted to upgrade your office furniture—although it may be in your company’s best interest to do so.
4. Set a Timer Set the timer on your phone to go off once every hour. It’s a great way to remind you to alternate sitting and standing every thirty minutes or so. Another piece of technology that can help you get up more often is a pedometer or any digital device that can track your steps. This is instant motivation and helps you get a clearer idea of how much you actually move throughout the day.
5. Skip the Elevator Lest we forget: all those little “non-exercise” bits of activity we perform during the day DO add up. And even if regular exercise can’t fully combat the effects of too much sitting, recent research indicates it may be able to lessen the impact at least a bit. So, take those stairs! Sitting too often and for too long can lead to what the medical community is now calling “sitting disease”—metabolic disturbances caused by excessively sedentary lifestyles. The good news is that avoiding excessive sitting is a relatively simple fix! If you have an acute or chronic injury or some other health condition that makes standing difficult for you, contact Johns Creek Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment. We’ll connect you with a compassionate and experienced physical therapist who can help you take a stand for your health!